If you live in an urban environment, occasionally it becomes necessary to walk through a group of hooded youths. Most of these youths are, we are obliged to say, harmless, misunderstood, basically good kids, hanging out in gangs while they search for an identity et cetera. Some are proper little bastards. But however you feel about hooded youths, the experience of walking alone through a group of them is one of self-consciousness and does call for a bit of Pavement Panto™ (Secondary Class).
I can think of three approaches for the male PP artist (though no doubt you can suggest more):
1. Exaggerated nonchalance. Perhaps a bit of whistling, hands in pockets, jaunty stroll. Oh is there a rabble of aggressive-looking teenagers here? I didn’t even notice. Evening, all. Knowing grin. I’m like you guys, man of the people, man of the street, a bit like Tony Blair, hey ho.
2. No nonsense tough guy. This is more of a fast determined stride straight through the middle, looking neither left nor right, slight frown, jaw set. I’m on important business, possibly secret service or undercover policework-related. Certainly I have a wide range of deadly martial arts techniques in my locker. Your trivial teenage gang is of no interest to me. Fake gum-chewing may be employed.
3. Unstable lunatic. Slight facial or limb twitches, bulging eyes, odd humming and an unearthly, twisted smile can all give the impression that beneath the apparently normal façade lurks a raging, and possibly armed, violent schizophrenic.
I tend to go for approach 2, but approach 3 is the most interesting Panto.
Of course, it helps if you really are an unstable lunatic. Chap I used to house-share with had the most extraordinary paranoid rage always bubbling away just beneath the surface. He was just one big trembling ball of tension. One day a couple of chavs made some remarks and started following him up the street, taunting him with their brainless zombie chunterings.
His response was to deliberately and obviously slooooow dooooown. Suitably unnerved, they went their grubby way.